soup of the day: pony island by candice ransom!

Clip clop, clip clop!

Whoa, steady there! It’s time to tap your lucky horseshoes together in honor of uber-talented, prolific children’s book author, Candice Ransom, because today, her non-fiction picture book, Pony Island, is officially out from Walker Books! WooHoo!!

PONY ISLAND by Candice F. Ransom, pictures by Wade Zahares,
(Walker Books, 2009). Picture book for ages 4-8, 32 pp.

Ever since I first read Fuse 8’s detailed, glowing review of Pony Island, I’ve been anxious to see it. In spare verse, Ransom relates how a cargo of wild ponies were left stranded on an uninhabited island off the coast of Virginia after a shipwreck in the Atlantic. The ponies lived there peacefully without human contact for many years, until a devastating series of fires on the neighboring island of Chincoteague prompted cowboys to round up the ponies and auction some of them off to raise money for a new fire truck.

The Chincoteague Wild Pony Swim, Penning, and Carnival is an enduring tradition that is still highly anticipated today. Every July, tens of thousands of people brave long waits in the hot sun to watch these beautiful animals make the 3-minute swim between Assateague and Chincoteague. Proceeds from the auction support the fire department and help maintain the herd on Assateague, where they have supposedly lived since the 1600’s.

If you’ve read Misty of Chincoteague, you know well the fascination with these ponies. It is said descendants of Misty still live on Assateague. Now, with Candice Ransom’s new book, young readers will be able to read a story based on the theory most favored by Chincoteague residents about the origin of these ponies — that involving a Spanish galleon wrecked at sea.

Now, please join me in congratulating Candice on what sounds like a beautiful book! Just for today, you may get into the spirit of celebrating by diving right into the bowl or slurping heartily from the trough. Exuberant whickers, whinnies, neighs, and nickers are especially encouraged.

Today’s Special: Chincoteague Chowder (will bring out your wild side)

Well, what are you waiting for? Gallop on over to your local indie or click through to your fave online bookseller and pony up some cash for your copy of Pony Island!

For more about Candice and her books, visit her official website and Live Journal Blog, Under the Honeysuckle Vine, or catch up with her cohorts in adventure at Ellsworth’s Journal.

To see a video of last year’s Wild Pony Swim, click here.

To see the parade (you have to, the ponies are adorable), click here.

For more information about the 2009 Wild Pony Swim, Parade and Carnival, visit

More Soup of the Day posts here.


5 thoughts on “soup of the day: pony island by candice ransom!

  1. I still remember my mom coming home from the library one day (why I wasn’t with her that time I don’t know) with a copy of Misty of Chincoteague…and I fell in love. A lonnng string of horse books accompanied me through the rest of my elementary school years. Ahhh, Misty.

    And, man, Jama, are you ever talented with alphabet soup. Must have a very steady hand! 🙂


  2. I also went through a horse book phase –National Velvet, Black Beauty . . . and ever since reading Misty, I’ve wanted to see the ponies in person. We’ll have to do that someday. We’ve lived in VA for a long time, but have yet to venture to the Eastern Shore.

    Steady Hands = Tracy Vaughn Zimmer 🙂


  3. Oh, that is so cute!!! Jama, thank you so much! And thanks for posting a nice photo of the pony swim. I’m still getting the hang of LiveJournal (blogger is easier) and am flummoxed by the photo thingie half the time. Oh! My website is a shambles. It’s being rebuilt, thank heavens. Thanks again, Jama!


  4. Oh, this looks great. I’ll have to get it for my grandkids. I read Misty of Chincoteague and loved it. Stories about horses are some of my favorites.


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